Friday, August 27, 2010
Please don't confuse this drama with Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge (Perfect girl evolution). Yamato Nadeshiko means a perfect japanese woman. This is a popular j drama starring Nanako Matsushima and Tsutsumi Shinichi. Both won television academy award for this drama. It had around 26% viewership. It is one of the popular j dramas.
Matsushima Nanako grew up in a very poor family and is thus determined to marry a rich man so that she will never have to go through poverty ever again, and is named the "gokon queen" in her quest to find her man. Tsutsumi Shinichi is a brilliant academic (Fields prize winner - Nobel Prize equivalent in Mathematics) who gave up his studies to take over his deceased father's fish-shop. They meet through a doctor's "gokon" (group date) and she falls in love with him under the mistaken assumption that he is a very rich man... --Edwina Wong
The first episode is amusing. Nanako Matsushimna's visits to gokon are pretty funny. She greedily eyes every man's hands to find a rolex watch, his pocket to find a horse racing badge and his side to see if he has a car. She advises her colleagues to look for these things in a man. She meets Tsutsumi Shinichi in a doctor's gokon and starts courting him believing that he is a rich man. She leaves her fiancee Higashijyugo san for Tsutsumi Shinichi believing that he is a better catch.
The first two episodes go quite well with Nanako Matsushima believeing that Tsutsumi Shinichi is a rich guy who bets on horses, earns a lot and lives in a large house. The horse betting pin is only borrowed from a man who lives in that big house that Nanako Matsuhima mistakes for his.
Tsutsumi Shinichi is a workaholic who was pursuing PhD when his girlfriend left him because she told him she couldn't see his future. He comes back to Japan on hearing of his father's death leaving his PhD incomplete. He owns a small fish shop called 'Uoharu' and helps his mother there.
In the first two-three episodes, the match progresses well because Nanako Matsuhima doesn't know Tsutsumi Shinichi's true background. However, Higashijyugo san is suspicious from the beginning. He likes Nanako Matsushima and doesn't want her to marry Tsutsumi Shinichi. Finally, he discovers his true identity and tells her about it. After that, she breaks up with him. He is heart broken and never sees any other girl.
However, her collegue Wakaba starts helping out at his shop and begins to develop feelongs for her. He also, often visits the doctor who is also a good friend of Nanako Matsuhima and sometimes they are at his house on the same time. Therefore, there is a lot of interaction between them and Nanako Matsushima truly begins to develop feelings for him. He was in love with her in the first place.
She later discovers that he is well educated and tries to persuade him to give up the fish shop and look for a lucrative job. But he believes that the shop is his late father's gift to him and his only posession and insists on working there.
The theme song 'Everything' by Misia is played in almost every scene. The song resonates in your head after you've finished the drama.
The focus was on romance but for most of the episodes, Nanako Matsushima is engaged to Higashijyugo san and she even gets into a marriage with him.
The relationship between Nanako Matsushima and Tsutsumi Shinichi doesn't progress very well. It starts well but after the break up it wanders. They fight a little and even help each other but the interaction is minimal. Romantic scenes don't take place after the first two episodes. Therefore,when she runs from the marriage to look for him, it appears fake.
I felt very bad when Wakaba chan's heart was broken because she was the one who was truly helpful and encouraging. Even through from Tsutsumi Shinichi's side the love appears true, from Nanako Matsuhima's side, it develops rather late and appears fake.
I liked the ending though. She chases him to America and marries him. He becomes a professor and they live happily ever after.
Some scenes like the fight about quitting studies halfway and being materialistic was okay but the relation doesn't develop much just explodes in the end. Higashijyugo sand appears as her fiancee for most of the drama and it seems rather foolish to quit the marriage and go for Shinichi. There was no love to fuel such a decision.
The last two episodes about the marriage and going to America are good if you ignore the rest of the drama. The episodes in between the first two and the last two episodes did nothing great. Nanako Matsuhima's character is the same for most of the drama and abruptly changes in the last two episodes.
Some scenes in the episodes in between are good but there are no romantic scenes and therefore no spice or fun in the drama.
All other things except romance are good.
Overall, it is an average daily life romance drama much like Long Vacation but inferior. The story lacks emotion. People interested in knowing more about japanese culture or wanting to watch an average japanese drama might benefit from this one but it can easily be skipped.
Idea of the story
Theme song 'everything'
At times, Nanako Matsushima looks blank